Monua Janah, dearly beloved by friends and family, 1959-2004.

DEDICATION

This virtual exhibition is dedicated to the memory of the photographer's daughter, Monua.  She organized the real exhibition in San Francisco in 2000, and wrote or edited much of the text reproduced here.

Monua was born, in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, on August 16, 1959 - a day after the twelfth anniversary of India's independence.  She passed away, unexpectedly, at her home in Menlo Park, California, on January 17, 2004  -  while still in the prime of her life.


 
     Monua Janah, 1959-2004.

     Dearly beloved and sorely missed by your
     family and friends, you live on in our hearts.

The preface, contents and introduction are below.

 


Virtual Exhibition - San Francisco 2000
Sunil Janah: Inside India - 1940-1975

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The copyrights for the images (and text, unless otherwise attributed) at this website belong to the photographer, Sunil Janah.  Mr. Janah's work is his livelihood.  Please respect copyrights and obey copyright law.

 

Fishermen hauling in a fishing boat over surf,
Orissa coast, Bay of Bengal, 1940's

PREFACE

This is an attempt at a partial digital recreation of the photographic exhibition: Sunil Janah: Inside India, 1940 - 1975.

The viewer should be warned, however, that we cannot fully recreate, here on the web, the experience of viewing the photographs directly.  That could be done at the real exhibition, which took place 2000 Sep 14 - Oct 12, at Kalart Gallery, San Francisco.

Fishermen hauling in a fishing boat over surf        
Orissa coast, Bay of Bengal, Eastern India        
© Sunil Janah 1940-2000        
 

That real exhibition drew a large number of people, and the photographer was nourished by their appreciation and enthusiasm.  It was only accessible, however, to those who happened to be in the vicinity and had the time to spare.  We wanted to make the photographs more widely available for viewing - in both time and space.

This virtual exhibition is thus presented here below - both for those who could not visit the real exhibition, as well as for those who did visit, but would like to take a second look..

This site is best viewed with your browser not just maximized, but rather set to full-screen view.

 

 

TOPIC INDEX (CONTENTS)

EXHIBITION SECTIONS
(Panels and Text)
Section 0

START

(This Page)

•  Preface & Monua
Topic Index (Contents)
  . º  Exhibition Sections
(You're here)
  . º  Related Pages
Topic Summary
Copyrights
(& Credits)
Introduction
Entrance Panel
(Panel 1)

 

Section 1

HISTORY
IN  THE
MAKING

1.   Independence Movement
  . º Part A
  . º Part B
2.   Famine, Riots, & Refugees
  . º Part A
  . º Part B
3.   Political Leaders
(& Others)

Section 2

BUILDING
INDIA'S
INDUSTRIES

•  Industry, 1950's

Section 3

THE  LAND
AND  THE
PEOPLE

•  Text
•  Cities & Villages
•  Tribals
This section is not ready yet. See instead the Virtual Exhibition, NY 1998, Section 5 (Land and People), with subsections:
1.   Tribals
2.   Mainstream Millions
(Cities & Villages)
 

Section 4

DANCE  AND
TEMPLE
SCULPTURE

1.   Dance
2.   Temple Sculpture

 
RELATED   PAGES
Historical Note
(SF 2000)
Slideshow
Introduction
Press Release
(SF 2000)
List of Photographs
(SF 2000)
Exhibition (SF 2000)
Home Page
Exhibition (NY '98)
Home Page
Virtual Exhibition (NY '98) Sunil Janah's Home Page
 


 
EXHIBITION TOPICS

This is a brief summary.   For section-links, see the index above.


virtual exhibition

san francisco  2000


Panel from Dance & Temple Sculpture:
 Kerala Master (top right), 
 Indrani Rahman (four middle), 
 Bade Gulam Ali Khan (bottom right)

sunil janah

inside india, 1940-1975

~~~~~

an exhibition of

sunil janah's photographs

documenting the indian subcontinent's

*

peasant, labor & independence movements

1940's' famines, riots and partition refugees

industrialization during the 1950's & 1960's

1970's'refugees @ the birth of bangladesh

political leaders & other luminaries

land & people - including tribals

&

dance & temple sculpture

~~~~~~~~~~

curated by

sunil, monua

& sobha janah

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

for links to sections

return to the index above

above
top right:   a dance master from kerala
middle four:   the dancer indrani rahman
bottom right:   maestro bade gulam ali khan
© sunil janah
1950-2000


The copyrights for the images (and text, unless otherwise attributed) at this website belong to the photographer, Sunil Janah.   Mr. Janah's work is his livelihood.   Please respect copyrights and obey copyright law.

 

Sunil Janah: Inside India, 1940-1975

Rare Images by India's Legendary Photographer

 

 
Mahatma Gandhi in a third-class railway carriage, 
traveling to the Simla Conference of 1946

INTRODUCTION

TO THE EXHIBITION

(Please set your browser to full-screen view.)

The photographs in this exhibition are a selection of the work of the pioneering Indian photographer Sunil Janah.

The first section captures the birth of Modern India - the tumultuous struggle for Independence from the British and the traumatic partition of the country into India and Pakistan. Here too are Mr. Janah's portraits of the legendary political figures of the time - such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammad Ali Jinnah - as well as of prominent artists, writers and intellectuals.

          Mahatma Gandhi in a third-class railway carriage,
          traveling to the Simla Conference of 1946.
          © Sunil Janah 1946-2000

 

Section 2 offers glimpses of the industrial projects that the newly independent state launched in the late 1940's and 1950's, as Prime Minister Nehru sought to realize his vision of a modern industrialized nation.

  Lane in Banaras (Benares/Varanasi), N.India, 1950's

In Section 3, Mr. Janah's lens focuses on his enduring passion - the people of India in all their rich diversity, in villages, towns and cities.

Also in this section are Mr. Janah's renowned photographs of the tribal peoples of India - the aboriginal inhabitants of the subcontinent, with languages and traditions separate from the mainstream cultures. These pictures provide a record of an ancient way of life that may be on its way to extinction, as rapid economic change forces assimilation on the tribals.

 

A lane in the holy city of Banaras (Benares/Varanasi)
Uttar Pradesh, N. India
© Sunil Janah 1950-2000

 

 
The fourth and final section pays tribute to the beauty of India's temple sculpture, as well as to the performers who have helped to keep alive India's diverse, demanding classical dance traditions.

Lovers - Konarak Sun Temple, Orissa
 - detail (photo fragment)

Lovers - Konarak Sun Temple - Orissa, N. India
DETAIL from photograph by Sunil Janah
© Sunil Janah 1950-2000

 

Now 82 years old, Mr. Janah was a formative influence on a generation of Indian photographers. In 1972, he received the Padma Shri, a national honor for an outstanding achievement. He has held exhibitions in many cities worldwide. His recent show in New York was called "a model for meaningful documentary" by Art in America . In a lengthy review, The New York Times described his tribal pictures as an "irreplaceable record".

Mr. Janah has published three books of photographs, and his pictures illustrate various other books on history or art. His life is the subject of three documentary films, made by the British Broadcasting Corporation and Independent Television News in England, and by Doordarshan (Television) in India.

Viewed as a whole, Mr. Janah's photographs are an epic vision of a nation at a time of historic change. This exhibition, although a small selection of his work, provides a glimpse of its depth and variety.

    -   Monua Janah, Menlo Park, California, 2000
    © Monua Janah 2000


The copyrights for the images (and text, unless otherwise attributed) at this website belong to the   photographer, Sunil Janah. Mr. Janah's work is his livelihood.   Please respect copyrights and obey copyright law.

 

Entrance Panel   (Panel 1)

Below:   Panel at gallery entrance, with portraits of Nehru and Gandhi, and a picture of a country river boat on the Ganges near Calcutta. The scanned image was dark, especially at the right end, and had to be enhanced for better visibilty on the web. This has produced emphasised shadows and highlights, and some loss of gray midtones. Photographs Sunil Janah 1939-2000.     Details below.
Entrance panel, with portraits of Nehru and Gandhi and a picture of a country river boat on the Ganges near Calcutta
Details of Above (Panel 1: Themes of the Exhibition) :
Left:   Jawaharlal Nehru at his family residence, Anand Bhavan. Allahabad, 1939.   sf.003
Center:   Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Panchgani, a hill resort in Maharashtra, western India, where he was taken in an attempt to restore his health after he was released from prison for the last time, 1945.   sf.004
Text:   See the
introduction
Right:   View of Kolkata (Calcutta) from an estuary of the Ganga (Ganges) river, with a traditional country boat in the foreground. The clock tower of the Kolkata High Court, built during the British Raj, is visible in the right background. A local government office building, built after independence, looms on the left horizon, below clearing monsoon clouds.   sf.005

Copyrights & Credits - Summary
Photographs, selection & panel design:     © Sunil Janah 1940-2000
Retouching, organization, some photographs & misc.: Sobha Janah
Text of Introduction & Historical Note:     © Monua Janah 2000
Organization of exhibition, editing & misc.:   Monua Janah
Website, page design, coding:     © Arjun Janah 2000-2002
Consultation & influence:     Ram Rahman
DETAILS

 
Top
- preface
Index
- to exhibition & related
Introduction
- to this exhibition
Next Section
- (section 1.1)
 

COPYRIGHT & CREDITS - DETAILS


Sunil  Janah  at  age  86,
Kolkata,  West  Bengal,  2004.
Detail  from  photograph
by Prokas Das, 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Arjun  Janah  at  age  49,
Brooklyn,  New  York,  2001.
Detail  from  photograph
by   Noah Lantor,  2001.

COPYRIGHT:  The copyrights for the images (and text, unless otherwise attributed) at this website belong to the photographer, Sunil Janah.   Mr. Janah's work is his livelihood.   Please respect copyrights and obey copyright law.

CREDITS:  This virtual exhibition is based on the real exhibition held in San Francisco in 2000.   That exhibition was curated by the photographer, Sunil Janah, his daughter, Monua, and wife, Sobha.   Its design was influenced by the 1998 exhibition in New York City, curated by Ram Rahman, as well as by earlier exhibitions organized by the photographer.

The photographer, Sunil Janah, designed the panels and wrote the accompanying section texts.   Monua Janah organized the exhibition, wrote the Press Release, the Historical Note (See Related Pages.), and the Introduction (directly below).   She also did much of the captioning, editing and physical work.

This virtual version of the exhibition was engineered later, mostly during 2000-2002, as an addition to Sunil Janah's website. This was done, on his spare time, by the photographer's son, Arjun, who had created the original website in 1998, in conjunction with the exhibition curated that year by Ram Rahman in New York City.. He coded the pages on Windows Notepad, and processed the images with Paint Shop Pro and Adobe Photoshop.

Arjun was hindered by a rather poor set of photographs he had taken, in dim light, of the exhibition panels.  He would be grateful if anyone who attended the real exhibition, and took panel shots, would lend these to him to improve the quality of the panel reproductions at this site.

For somewhat better reproductions, see the Virtual Exhibition, NY '98The Land and People section at that site complements the presentation here, which is currently missing that section.

The lamp animation was created by John Inniss, using Paint Shop Pro, in Feb 2005.

 

 

 

 

 
Monua  Janah  at  age  42,
Menlo  Park,  California,  2000.
Detail  from  photograph
by  Sunil  Janah, 2000.

 


Sobha  Janah  at  age  77,
Kolkata,  West  Bengal,  2004.
©  Prokas Das 2004, 2005.


Please see the index on the right margin for the exhibition sections, with section-texts and captioned panel shots, as well as (under "Related") a list of photographs, a historical note, a slideshow introduction and other links.

This virtual exhibition is dedicated to the memory of the photographer's daughter, Monua Janah, 1959-2004. She organized the real exhibition, in San Francisco, in 2000, and wrote or edited much of the text reproduced here.